A FORTNIGHT ago, NME’s “Alley Cat” quoted an American reader, who declared that Elvis Presley’s forthcoming single “Kissin’ Cousins” has been influenced by Mersey beat. I have just received the disc from the States, and can now give a first-hand preview. It will be released in Britain soon.

There’s a strong r-and-b flavour throughout this track, which follows the familiar 12-bar blues formula, and is set to a medium twist beat. Chanting harmonies from the Jordanaires lend colour to the song, which has a particularly catchy melody and evinces a glowing warmth from Elvis.

Liverpool sound? Well, I think maybe that’s carrying it a bit too far. The suggestion is probably due to the r-and-b quality which is the basis of the Mersey beat, and which also permeates this Presley disc.

But it’s certainly well in line with current British trends, and could well register more strongly than any of his last few releases in this country. So watch out for it.

The ‘B’ side is one of those throbbing beat-ballads in which El specialises. Not one of his best melodically, but there’s tremendous feeling and expression in his voice, and his quivering vibrato is heard to excellent advantage. A perfect example of how he can transform an ordinary song into an item of lasting value.

NME, 1964